May is world Mental Awareness Month.
There has been an increasing awareness that mental health issues are affecting a growing number across the world.
Building a professional relationship with a counsellor to get confidential and appropriate information has never been so important.
Lately celebrities and indeed Royalty have spoken about their need for help with their mental health issues. Whether that has been through the onset of depression, bereavement, domestic violence or any other emotional problem sufferers are finding that it is good to talk.
This can only be a good thing.
For centuries people with these issues have been branded. Often shut away from humanity. To prevent any cross contamination.
Of course, this has led to a demand for more counsellors that need the training to be able to help those in need. From questions around relationship advice to anger management or even helping children and young people. Mental health issues can come in many forms.
Qualified counsellors have looked at new ways of reaching out from the normal personal face-to-face meetings with a greater use of modern technology. One of the areas that have seen dramatic growth is that of telephone counselling.
Surveys show that over 75% of therapists now offer this method, as well as other online services such as email and Skype type sessions.
There are practical reasons for the growth of online counselling.
The pace of life today is hectic. Balancing family life and work leave little time to take time out to visit a professional mental health specialist.
Telephone Counselling is a great way to make contact with a professional at a time that is convenient to both customer and therapist.
The enquirer gains a greater degree of confidentiality. While receiving the correct amount of accessibility, support, clarity and focus. It can be linked to face-to-face sessions as a way of a follow up to those traditional sessions. It can also be a less expensive way for those who feel they cannot afford private sessions.
Some clients are able to relax more in the privacy of their own surroundings away from the formal settings of therapy rooms.
The phone does not remove the need during the first contact to ensure that the client’s needs are assessed.
It also gives the counsellor breathing space to actively listen to the client. Encouraging them to give feedback about their feelings and emotions. Just as in a traditional therapy session if the client feels uncomfortable with their counsellor they can ask to speak to someone else in the practice.
There are more benefits of online counselling including enabling housebound or disabled clients to talk to a qualified therapist.
It can also give the enquirer more confidence in talking through their needs while in familiar surroundings.
People who through their personality could find a one-on-one session in a therapy room quite intimidating. Maybe more relaxed at home.
Perhaps where a person feels uncomfortable with a particular therapist they may feel unable to express that in a therapists rooms.
It is also easier to fix telephone appointments that fit into the client and therapists schedule.
It has been found that online counselling is becoming more popular as people’s lives become busier.
But by its nature, it demands a different type of expertise on behalf of the counsellor. During Face-to-face the counsellor can feed off the client`s body language. The way they respond to prompts. The skills needed in telephone counselling include the way a counsellor uses their voice, its inflections.
Warning: It is easier to sound facetious on the telephone than it is when you are facing your client physically.
Many counsellors who use the technique explain that they find it easier to be more focused. The enquirer is more forthcoming in discussing their worries, making the session more effective. No matter what the problem is. Bereavement, anxiety or addictions. Telephone counselling brings a great opportunity to improve the mental well-being of the client.
Whether a counsellor chooses face-to-face, telephone or any other approach to counselling. It is always what is best for the client that matters, regardless of the method chosen.